Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Change



 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)

They say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Now, I don’t know who “they” are, but I know that things change.  Of course the point is, even when things do change, it’s always within the realm of human nature. As the preacher of Ecclesiastes said, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.”

And, although I cannot document it with an internet search, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Bill Gaither on Homecoming Radio say, “Things will either get better, or they will get worse, or they will stay about the same.” It’s odd that such a pithy, down-home quotation isn’t gracing 300 million t-shirts and needle-point wall-hangings, but I digress.

Change can be particularly difficult for people who find comfort in a stable, expected, and predictable routine. Although that statement is not confined to one particular demographic, I have found that about the time I got my first membership letter from AARP, I did notice a definite preference in my demeanor for less and less change in my life. (This was also coupled with a strange, overwhelming impulse to complain bitterly about the temperature of soup served to me…but again, I digress.)

When I look over the Bible and God’s relationship with humanity throughout time, I am struck by the incredible changes that took place: man’s sin and the ejection from the garden, the flood that wiped out all of life on earth except for Noah and those aboard the ark, the freeing of an entire nation of slaves and their transplantation in another country, and the New Covenant because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

None of that was minor stuff. It’s all, as they say, stuff of “Biblical proportions.” (There “they” are again.)

But the funny thing is, those first three events seem eerily analogous to events in my own life: There’s the innocence of my youth followed by my fall into sin, the baptism of the Holy Spirit that came upon me during storms in my life that drowned out my desire for sin, and the freedom and joy of having been set free from the slavery of that sin.

Yes, I came to live in a new land, and it does flow with spiritual milk and honey.

But, in the life of Jesus, was the greatest change the world has ever seen because He who had never sinned took my punishment and rose from the dead alive and victorious.

And through all of those changes, His love for me--and for you-- never changed. From the moment he created us, He had always been not only willing to die for us, but had planned to do so.

Yes, the more things have changed, the more God’s love has stayed the same. And one day, on a day and an hour that only the Father knows, will come the greatest change of all.

Today’s Praise
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5a)

 

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